Andrew Walton takes a moment to revel in the thrill of winning the 1600. All photos by Ashley Green.
Special to Colorado Track XC by Jeff Boele
What we’ve learned at the St. Vrain Invitational over the past several years is that it’s not a matter of IF big performances and nail-biting races will happen, but when and where they will occur.
The 2014 edition proved no different. A meet positioned near the end of the season is bound to be full of top level competition as athletes round into form and take advantage of a season’s worth of training. This is the case for athletes in all classifications and all abilities.
At St. Vrain, one heat may feature a former state champion and the next may have a seasoned JV athlete participating in his or her first varsity invite. To list every athlete’s successes would take more space than needed to convey the idea that people came and people competed. That said, there are just some things that should be discussed.
To give an idea of the depth of performance, here is St. Vrain by the numbers, relative to the meet and state rankings.
49 performances that rank in the top 10 for all classifications.
18 performances that established a new event leader in the respective classification.
7 performances that set or tied stadium and/or meet records.
2 performances that established new all-time classification bests.
Let’s start with the meet and venue relative to itself. It is no small task to take on a stadium or meet record at Longmont high school’s Everly-Montgomery field; one that has seen its share of elite Colorado athletes.
The first records to be rewritten were the meet and stadium marks for the girls’ 100 meter hurdles. Ashley Miller of Cherry Creek wasted little time, 13.69 seconds in fact, dispensing of the old standard of 14.54. At the end of the night, most would agree that Miller’s efforts would rank as the performance of the meet. Although not her fastest mark of the season, the time would still put her in the top 10 nationally in the hurdles.
Next to challenge the E-M record book was Cherokee Trail’s Brandon Singleton. Singleton’s sprint prowess is well noted and his 47.54 winning time for the 400 meter dash will now be documented as tying the Everly-Montgomery and St. Vrain best ever mark.
Zac Petrie of Valor Christian did his part with a 1:53.27 in the 800 meter run to take down the first of two long standing stadium records belonging to Greeley West’s Andy Meyers. Petrie’s Margin of victory was impressive at just over two seconds.
About the time the 800s were wrapping up, Harley Korte, of Cherokee Trail was trying his hand at 15’9” in the boys’ pole vault. While that height proved a bit out of reach for now, Korte’s nine inch PR clearance of 15’3” grabbed a big win and a meet record.
After a few hour respite, the record book was assaulted again after the 1600s got going. First Mountain View’s Riley Cooney loped a whopping 5.66 seconds off the previous meet record and took the mark under the 5 minute barrier. Her 4:55.10 is also the fastest time of the 2014 season for Colorado girls.
Not to be outdone on the boys side, Andrew Walton of Mountain Vista hammered home the final 500 meters to a new altitude PR of 4:17.22. The mark represented the second of the day that would displace Andy Meyers from the Everly-Montgomery and St. Vrain record books.
It is fitting that the final race of the evening, the 4x400, would send the St. Vrain out on a high note. It was not unforeseen that the last section of the 4x4 would be a fantastic race. When the dust settled, Palmer Ridge not only reset the meet and stadium record, their 3:17.75 also chipped .06 seconds off the all-time classification best.
Record setting individuals and teams are not the only folks worthy of a little recognition. Plenty of other athletes were busy competing for top spots and big marks. For events, let’s progress from shortest to longest, except where the field events are concerned. Ladies first.
Shayna Yon nipped Dior Hall at the line in the 100, 11.97 to 11.99. Yon took the 200 with a little more breathing room in 24.90.
Niki Marshall of defending 4A state champs Niwot took home the crown in the 400, running 58.36.
Monarch’s Claire Green led the way in the 800 winning by just over 2 seconds. Two names to keep track of for the future – Emily Leidig (Thompson Valley) and Hannah Freeman (Fairview), both freshman. Leidig was second in 2:15.22 and Freeman fourth in 2:17.23.
After Riley Cooney, the rest of the 1600 field was taking care of business. Ali Deitsch passed Darby Gilfillan in the home straight, as both followed Cooney under the five minute barrier. All told, eight ladies were under 5:09.
In the 3200, Isabelle Kennedy led Catherine Liggett of Legend for most of the race and held on for the win, 11:04.66 to 11:07.88.
Molly Klotz of Longmont took a win on her home track in the 300 hurdles. She bested conference rival Amanda Campbell from Broomfield, 43.87 to 44.86.
Relay action was spot on as well. Cherokee Trail ran down the fast starting George Washington squad in the 4x100 and took the win comfortably with a sub 48 clocking – 47.83. The 4x200 followed much the same script, CT in 1:42.07, GW in 1:42.78. Fairview was fairly uncontested in the 4x4, yet still managed a stellar time of 3:55.20. Thompson Valley also found their way under four minutes in 3:59.16 for second. Another victory for Fairview with a strong 400 leg was in the Sprint Medley, turning in 1:48.30. Loveland and Mountain Vista battled for a few laps in the 4x8, before Loveland ran to an almost 9 second victory in 9:26.90.
While no records fell in the field events, the marks were not without their highlights.
Haley Showalter of Valor Christian launched the disc out to 155-06, a mark that moves her to the top of the all classification list. Showalter’s shot skills also secured her the win as she was the only athlete over the 40 food barrier with her put of 41-00.75.
Sydney Wetterstrom protected the home sand and remains atop the 4A ranks with her 36-10.75 hop-skip-jump in the triple jump. Mountain View had a nice 2-3 showing with Joscelyn Wind and Sammi Watson.
Haley Dean of Broomfield leapt out to 17-11 to grab an 8-inch win over Cadi Green of Greeley West in the long jump.
The jumps requiring height went the way of Loveland. Ashley Krawczuk was the only athlete to clear 5-3.5 in the high jump and thus scored the win. Meanwhile, Heather Waite took to the elevated platform of the infield vault and propelled herself over 11-9, again the only competitor clearing that height for the win.
For the guys, whether running, jumping or throwing, the action was just as good.
Kevin McClanahan of Erie continues his hot streak in the sprints. In the 100 meter dash, he sped 11.07 on his way to victory.
The 200 was a clash of two top ranked sprinters, McClanahan and the aforementioned Brandon Singleton. With Singleton coming out on top, 21.60 to 21.66, both athletes ran season best marks.
The two had met earlier in the day in the 400. Singleton’s record setting exploits there have been covered. McClanahan’s second place mark of 48.03 still earned him the number two time in Colorado. Worth mentioning, third and fourth place finishers Mar’Keith Bailey of Cherokee Trail and Zane Vanderberg of Fairview recorded the third and fifth fastest times in the state, both under 49 seconds.
Behind Zac Petrie’s blazing 800 meter run, Freshman Isaac Green of Monarch and Alex Bush of Silver Creek were doing battle. The “Green Machine’s” strength down the home straight netted a 1:55.45 second place finish.
The other all-time classification record set on the day was in the boys 1600. Paul Roberts’ 4:20.93 behind Andrew Walton’s record run, established a new standard among the 2A ranks. Like the girls’ heats, the boys got after it. 15 athletes dropped below the 4:30 barrier, many garnering new personal records.
The 3200 saw Shane Mathis of Erie steadily move to the front of the race and then secure the win in 9:49.84 over Blake Graf of Mountain Vista.
If you were looking for a close race, you had to look no further than the boys 110 meter high hurdles. Evan Malin of Palmer Ridge claimed victory by the narrowest of margins over Joseph Saling of Vista Ridge – 15.02 to 15.03. These two athletes have a knack for close finishes. And, at least one hurdle paid dearly for Malin’s triumph.
Another Palmer Ridge hurdler, Thomas Busath, netted a win in the longer version of the barrier race. His win over Isaiah Kaiser of Cherokee Trail offered a bit more breathing room, but not much – 39.11 to 39.19.
Cherokee Trail brought their “A” game on the relays. Like their ladies squads, they captured the 4x100 (42.37) and 4x200 (1:27.48) titles. They also earned a second place finish in the 4x400. All their races saw phenomenal competition. The 4x1 saw .18 seconds separate first, second and third place, CT over Valor Christian and Longmont. CT was almost a second up on Palmer Ridge in capturing their win for the 4x2. That “favor” was exchanged in the record run of Palmer Ridge’s 4x4. Erie’s boys continue to move closer to the 8 minute barrier in the 4x800. They had a solid victory with their 8:05.93 clocking.
Similar to the girls, the boys’ field events saw no records fall, none the less the efforts across the board were outstanding.
Miles Rivera of Longmont was happy to be throwing in his home ring and sailed the winning toss out to 166-09.
Zack Fuller hailing from Cheyenne Central was the only competitor in the boys shot over 50 feet at 50-3.5. Woodland Park had a pair of nice heaves from Randy Westfall and Hayden Erickson, 48-4.75 and 48-3 respectively.
Greeley Central’s Landon Gosner was almost two feet in front of second place after his 44-10.5 in the triple jump. In the long jump, Gosner held on to a two inch advantage over sprinter extraordinaire Kevin McClanahan, 21-08 to 21-06.
Three jumpers cleared 6-06.5 in the high jump but could go no higher. Nicholas Meihaus of Pueblo South got the win on count back over Gavin Lamp of Fairview and David Thornton of Cherokee Trail.
Just below Harley Korte’s record setting clearance, Meihaus netted a third place finish in the pole vault clearing 14-09, the same height as Monarch’s Andrew Barlow. Barlow earning second place with less misses.
The St. Vrain invite continued to host elite sections of certain events. This year former CU Buffalo, Jeremy Dodson won the 100 meter dash in 10.31. Dey Dey, a Thornton high school grad led most of the way in the men’s mile before being run down in the last 100 meters by Derrick Williams. Williams ran 4:10.82 for the full mile. Laura Cain won the women’s vault with a clearance of 11-11.75. Sam Pierson was the men’s champion clearing 17-04.5.
David Bucalla, Khylen Jones, Lacey Henderson and Tom Southall competed in the Unified 100 meter dash, each running superb efforts.
The 2014 edition of the St. Vrain invitational proved to be an exciting day of track and field. Big performances on every scale were the theme of the day. Record setting performance or not, athletes came and they competed!
MileSplit will be on-site with live video stream coverage of the St. Vrain Invitational on Friday afternoon and evening in Longmont, Colorado at St. Vrain's High School's Everly-Montgomery Field. Running events start at 12:55 PM Mountain Standard Time (2:55 PM for East Coasters & 11:55 AM for West Coasters). Race videos after the meet will be archived on the St. Vrain Invitational meet page. Don't miss any of the live action or races on demand after the meet, by signing up to become a MileSplit Insider today!
The St. Vrain Invitational is every bit as much about depth of quality as it is about top-tier talent. Evergreen's Anne Lauder is typical of the kind of quality athlete that the St. Vrain brings in. Colorado Track XC file photo.
For those who haven't yet discovered, Palmer Ridge has developed some exceptional relays, and they will be putting a couple of those squads on display Friday night in Longmont. Colorado Track XC file photo.
MileSplit will be providing two live webcasts of major invitational meets this weekend of May 2nd and 3rd! Our live video events schedule coming up includes one meet on the West Coast at the Sacramento Meet of Champions in California and additionally will be streaming up in the Rocky Mountains for the St. Vrain Invitational in Colorado.